News: Retiree Appreciation Day showcases community resources
Story by Lance Cpl. Joshua Grant
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Hundreds of retired service members attended the 18th annual Retiree Appreciation Day at Marston Pavilion aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Sept. 28.
The event is designed to show the continued support to the retiree community long after their sacrifice, said Luis Alers, retiree activities director for Camp Lejeune.
Booths from dozens of organizations, along with medical services including eye exams, dental, flu shots, cardiology, blood pressure and many more were available to the retirees.
“Many retirees come to learn more about what new benefits are available and what may not be in the future,” said Alers. “I encourage all retirees to come learn about the changes being made locally, and in Washington, D.C., that could help.”
Brig. Gen. Robert Castellvi, commanding general for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, said Retiree Appreciation Day showcases the resources available to the community.
“This event creates an opportunity for the retirees to get together and share their stories with each other,” said Castellvi. “It also gives them the one stop shop for many services including the Naval Hospital aboard base and many retiree oriented organizations.”
Castellvi added the service providers can also update the retirees on their role as advocates for staying healthy and getting the proper healthcare when it’s needed.
Retired Lt. Col. Bill Kalm, said as a retiree and member of the retiree council, he comes to the event to visit old friends and gather the vast amount of knowledge to share with the retirees unable to attend.
“All the information and services provided at this event every year far exceeds any other available in one location,” said Kalm.
Along with health and information resources, the Provost Marshal’s Office aboard Camp Lejeune set up a prescription drug take back table for retirees to dispose of expired or overprescribed medications they no longer want.
The drugs are recorded and sent to the Drug Enforcement Agency to be destroyed.
Service members pave the way for a new generation and the Retiree Appreciation Day shows the dedication of the community to give back to the retirees who sacrificed.
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